Philos. a theory which stresses indispensable conceptual characteristics and relations of things as opposed to existence as particular experienced actuality
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
- essentialist noun
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The metaphysical theory that the essential properties of an object can be distinguished from those that are accidental to it.